Got Beetles?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Dbure, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

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    Hey everyone. :smile: Was wondering if any others are having troubles with small hive beetles this year. I have almost 2 acres of space and mostly shaded. Last year we did a ground treatment using permethrin (?) and the beetles stayed fairly in check. I wondered if the drought also had an effect last year where this year we have had plenty of rain in my area. This year however we have not done another ground treatment and the little vermin seem to be growing in numbers by the day. I read where a state apiary inspector recommends salt water drenches. Any other suggestions to treating for these? I just lost one hive and am trying to save another before they abscond. We will be looking for the queen in the morning and if she is still there will be giving her a new home, some brood and honey frames to start with. The hive she is in now does not look or smell so good, but still has quite a few bees. I believe they will be leaving if not taken out .:sad:
     
  2. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    Ground treatments only effect the pupal stage and future generatons. You need to keep them out of the hive, and under control when they get in.
    Reduce the entrance
    Put a dark top on to increase hive temperature where the bees chase the beetles
    Add oil traps between the frames and an oil tray under the screened bottom board
    And most of all get and keep the hive strong
     

  3. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

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    I have used several traps inside each hive, each filled with oil, and they are always filled with beetles. Something my husband was reading from a university study also says to use apple cider vinegar as an attractant mixed with a mineral oil to trap them in the traps. I had not heard of this before. The only thing I don't have are the screened bottom boards with oil trays which we are considering adding. One keeper says he dusts the bees with powdered sugar and in their cleaning frenzy they chase the beetles causing them to fall and run into the oil tray at the bottom. He swears this works. Having a strong hive however I agree is key.
     
  4. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    I have one hive that has SHB. The hive is strong so they keep them in check. I opened them up one day and a bee attacked a beetle and flew away with it. Was pretty cool to watch. I tried the CD case trap with no luck so I ordered oil traps.
     
  5. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    Sugar dusting is for Varroa. SHB take the sugar dusting distraction to get in the comb and tear it up. Apple cider vinegar is and attractant. University of Florida uses it in their oil traps. Personally I would rather not attract SHB within the hive. You can make attractant traps outside the hive. Pollen patties are good beetle draws. Rotten bananas fermented with apple cider vinegar is the best attractant, again I would attract them to a trap outside the hive.
     
  6. 100 TD

    100 TD New Member

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    The beetles fly into the hive to lay eggs then larva then exit the hive to pupate. Treating the ground stops them after the damage is done. Stop them as the get into the hive with #6 mesh bottom board oil traps. I put a small entrance trap on mine (designed by a friend with a few mods from me) and it caught 26 beetles in 24 hours. A fully screened bottom board trap would be better. I still have beetles, but few compared to no trap. I have seen 1 larva in the oil trap only, haven't seen any damage from them.
     
  7. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    Good suggestions above (especially the entrance reducer). Too, make sure the hives have no more room than the bees can patrol. I've had to limit honey supers to 3 maximum on a strong hive to ensure the girls can keep the SHB at bay. Full sun helps as well. Of course, having my chickens in the apiary helps, too. Awfully hard to pupate when chickens keep scratching you out of the ground and eating you!
     
  8. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

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    Chickens sounds like the best way to get rid of them Tia. I am sure there are other benefits from that too.:grin:
    Last year when the drought and heat were so awful in Texas with temps well over 100 for months on end, I was glad I was using ventilated top screen covers on my hives. But this year with the beetle issue I learned they are not so good as I watched some of the little pests go right through the screen. As an emergency measure my husband cut some wire window screening out to fit underneath on top of the box and today when checking them I could see that beetles were trying to get in and were unable to. Any opening undefended can create a major problem it seems like overnight.

    Today I also purchased a small wet dry vac with the idea of vaccuming the beetles up as I see them run on opening the roofs. I have not used it yet but thought if I put soap water in the tank it should kill them as I get them. Before I used the small mesh screening I lifted the roof of my strongest hive and there were close to 20 of these beetles running around the edges. The bees had them herded and if I had had the vaccum then I could have quickly removed them. Somehow I am just not fast enough with the end of my hive tool to do them in.:club:

    Thank all of you for helping.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  9. jim314

    jim314 New Member

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    Could be but I'm rethinking my position on screened bottom boards. I have 6 live hives and I see fewer beetles in the one topbar hive with a solid bottom than the other 5 langs. My bottom boards have a solid bottom under the screen where I can place a tray. An oil tray will always catch some beetles. But when I open the hive, I can still always spot beetles. I've only seen a couple of beetles in the topbar and the bees have them corralled in the back of the hive. I'm setting on the fence because there are more places for the beetles to hide in a langstroth. And in the Texas 100+ heat I've seen no advantage to the screened boards. In fact, a friend that has only topbar hives with screened bottoms had to close his up because the bees couldn't control the temps and had comb collapse. Once he closed the bottom, no more problems.
     
  10. Dbure

    Dbure New Member

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    Jim, the screens I have on mine are on the top of the hives under the roof for ventilation and I have solid bottom boards. I found that the screen size was too large to keep the beetles out and the bees were propolizing all around the edges trying to block them. I would see the beetles running around the edges on top of the propolized area of the screen and the bees were underneath guarding. The minute I would open the roof the bees would break and the beetles would scatter, some going through the screen. The smaller screening we laid underneath the other seems to have helped prevent them being able to enter the hive from the top. As for screened bottoms designed for the beetles to fall through into a pan, I would wonder if they would run around the bottom edges waiting to get back in if they fail to fall into the oil. The way I look at it is that if the bees can't get to them but they still have a way to get inside, then the hive is not secure.

    The other thing I have been learning the hard way is in the use of the frame spacers. I love the way the frames just slip back in after looking them over. I don't worry about crushing bees by moving them around while working with the hive. But a huge drawback to them is that beetles love the crecices they create. The bees may be able to corner them in the spaces, but I'd prefer not give them any place to hide and have the girls run them clear out. If it were not so time consuming I'd glue up every nook and cranny when setting a new hive up.:mrgreen:
     
  11. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    My bees glue up the nooks and crannies. I have screened bottom boards on all 5 hives. I have seen one shb, in the hive with 3 boxes and the top box is too light. I wasn't fast enough with my hive tool, but as soon as I get time, probably sunday, that top box is going, the screen spacer I have on top may be removed - a bit too much ventilation - and my beetle traps will be here on Monday.
    Seriously I went through 2 hives today that I would not consider strong, and not one shb. My ladies kick them through the screen. but all of my entrances are reduced. So I think I need the sbb's.

    Gypsi
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip...
    My bees glue up the nooks and crannies.

    tecumseh:
    nothing real scientific but I do suspect that hives that propolize heavily also tend to have few if any small hive beetles.
     
  13. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    And my hives with sbb's propolize more. I like my screened bottom boards a lot. Enough to learn to build them.